Chai-less Chai aka Turmeric Milk

Chai-less Chai aka Turmeric Milk

Turmeric milk or what I like to call Chai-less chai is a delicious drink I’ve recently discovered. I like to call it chai-less chai since there is no tea or caffeine in it, but it still has all the great flavors from the spices. It’s so quick and easy; you should make some now!

Rouxbe Professional Plant-Based Course Task #5

Rouxbe Task #5

This week I started my Rouxbe Professional Plant-Based Certification Course. It is going to be intense. There are over 400 tasks to complete in about six months. It has started off with a lot of reading and background information along with learning to use the class platform. I am really excited to be taking the course!

Tree House Restaurant–Saint Louis, MO

Tree House Restaurant

Tree House is an all vegetarian restaurant on Grand Blvd in Saint Louis. They are just down the street from Lulu’s and several other good spots. I found this one on happycow and was excited to try their brunch menu.

Lulu’s Local Eatery–Saint Louis, MO

lulu's local eatery

Lulu’s Local Eatery came highly recommended by two friends with experience in the Saint Louis area. Reviews on happycow were also very positive. I made it my first food stop in the area. I was torn which entrée to get, so I ordered two. No regrets.

Trumpet Blossom–Iowa City, IA

Trump Blossom Iowa CIy, IA

While discussing my current road trip with a friend, he mentioned a 100% vegan place in Iowa of all places. I had to check it out. This morning, I left MN around sunrise and made it the 250+ miles for Trumpet Blossom’s opening at 11am. It was worth it.

Minneapolis Vegan Ice Cream Crawl


A group of us were talking at dinner a few weeks ago about how we should do a vegan ice cream crawl in Minneapolis. Sample all the vegan ice cream places in Minneapolis in one day? Could we do it? Laura and I really liked this idea, and this is the result.

Asian Noodle Waffles


Waffles are great, but I’m not always in the mood for something sweet. I’ve been playing with making savory waffles. I had a pile of flat asian noodles; I like making them in bulk. They ended up in the waffle iron. Tasty crispiness was the result!

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

This recipe has been in the making for many months. I wanted to create a muffin that actually tastes good without using sugar or oil. The lack of refined sugar or oil makes this a healthy treat. The whole wheat flour and oatmeal will help keep you full longer. I use them for snacks on the go or a quick breakfast. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Mother Fools, Green Owl, and Pig Minds!

Last weekend we took a small road trip to Madison to attend Mad City Vegan Fest with the goal of eating as much tasty vegan food as possible. We managed to squeeze quite a bit in before and after. I also had the pleasure of showing a few of my favorites to some friends who came down with us.

Mother Fools Cafe

First up was Mother Fools for breakfast before Vegan Fest started. I was really hoping for some of their amazing cinnamon rolls. They didn’t have any, so I had an amazing apple Danish instead. Just after I finished the Danish, fresh made cinnamon rolls were delivered! Of course I had to get one! The sugar and cinnamon was caramelized on the bottom in a crunchy layer of sugary vegan goodness. I washed it all down with a vanilla chai which I seasoned with extra nutmeg and cinnamon. Sheesh, how many times can I write cinnamon in one paragraph?

Mother Fools Cafe

After vegan fest, we took a quick nap before making the hour drive south to Machesney Park, IL to visit Pig Minds Brewery. Our friends Steve and Clara joined us. We started with the very delicious pretzels and the coveted beer reduction. I am still a giant fan of the agave mustard. The pretzels were perfect. A slight crunch on the outside and soft inside. They were quickly devoured.

Pig Minds Brewery

I ordered the special: loaded tostadas. The three tostadas were loaded with a well spiced TVP, shredded lettuce, pico, and fresh cilantro. They were covered in vegan sour cream and a jalapeno aioli. So Good. Steve ordered them as well. We both really enjoyed them. The crisp crunch of the tortilla was great. They were a bit messy to eat. Totally worth it!

Pig Minds Brewery

For dessert Laura had the brownie special and I had deep fried strawberries. The strawberries were good, but the brownie was still better.

Pig Minds Brewery

While sipping our beer, some live music started. It was good background music while we played with our phones. Sad right? If the music was more engaging, we might have put our phones down. Steve and Clara being silly.

Pig Minds Brewery

The next morning we again visited Mother Fools for some chai and Danish while we waited for Green Owl to open. We also bought some snacks for the drive back. I bought an amazing olive bread which I totally forgot to take a picture of. It was loaded with kalamata olives. Delicious.

Pig Minds Brewery

We arrived at Green Owl just when they opened at 10am, and within minutes it was completely packed. The food took a while to arrive. I ordered the vegan nuevos rancheros off the brunch menu. Corn tortillas topped with black beans, tofu scramble, vegan chorizo, and teese cheese. They topped it with roasted jalapeno sauce, avocado, and pico de gallo. I really liked the jalapeno sauce as a nice change from the traditional red sauce. I would easily order it again and it rivaled my favorite vegan rancheros from Hard Times Café in Minneapolis. 

Green Owl Cafe

Mad City Vegan Fest 2015–Madison, WI

Madison Vegan Fest 2015

This past weekend we made the drive down to Madison from Minneapolis to attend the Mad City Vegan Fest 2015. I had heard it inspired our own TCVegFest, so I wanted to experience it. It was also a good excuse for a small road trip to some delicious food.

Forks Over Knives Cooking Course

I first saw the Forks Over Knives (FOK) film in the theater many years ago when it first came out. I really enjoyed it! Since then, I have been trying to better incorporate the good ideas in my own kitchen and life. I was gifted the Forks Over Knives Cookbook which I really enjoy using. Most of the recipes are really easy and all are health promoting. If you haven’t looked at the film or the cookbook, check the links above/below.

Sovereign Estate Winery–Waconia, MN

Sovereign Estates Winery

Last week, I was invited to Sovereign Estate Winery to sample their wine and learn more about their new exclusive catering relationship with D’Amico Catering. It was a short drive to Waconia, MN from Minneapolis through beautiful rolling hills and farms. The event took place on a Tuesday which created the perfect excuse to take the afternoon off to enjoy some delicious wine. I invited Laura to come with. 

Nectarine Cobbler

x500-Nectarine Cobbler-3[3]

What to do when you have extra ripe Nectarines laying around? Make some cobbler. We had purchased a large box of white nectarines from Costco earlier in the week and it became obvious we were not going to be able to finish them before they went bad. Give them away or make cobbler. Easy choice!

Last Week In Tastiness


This last week seems to have been inspired by Mexican themes. The tacos above were something we quickly whipped up at home using some cheap, locally made corn tortillas, spinach, black beans, salsa, and cilantro.

Truce–Minneapolis, MN


Truce is a new all vegan, organic, and gluten-free restaurant in the Twin Cities. They are conveniently located in south Minneapolis on 32 and Hennepin. They were our last stop on our vegan road trip.

Last Week in Tastiness

Strawberry Pancakes and Fresh Orange Juice

Last time, this post was hard to write because I had nearly 25 pictures of different things I ate. Choosing which ones to share was hard since they were all so good. This time, I only had four pictures.

Burr Oak Winery–New Lisbon, WI


While driving home from our vegan road trip, Laura spotted a sign on the freeway mentioning a vineyard. She asked if we could stop. We had plenty of time, so I said what the heck, lets check it out. While I don’t drink often, I do enjoy a good glass of wine. We pulled off I-94 in search of the winery.

The Cheeze Factory Restaurant–Wisconsin Dells, WI


When I found the Cheeze Factory on happycow, I was surprised to find it in Wisconsin Dells, WI. The area is very touristy and dairy heavy. It was great to find a 100% vegan restaurant in the dells. Their vast menu alone is temptation enough to stay overnight in the area not to mention the bakery case. Oh, the bakery case!

Monty’s Blue Plate Diner–Madison, WI


The last day of our vegan road trip, we stopped for breakfast at Monty’s Blue Plate Diner. Laura had found it a few days earlier when we were looking for a delicious vegan breakfast. It looked good, so we couldn’t pass it up.

Last Week in Tastiness

Strawberry Pancakes

Looking at the photos from this last week, there seem to be a few themes. I guess I didn’t have as much variety in my food as I would have guessed. I ate two things apparently nearly every day.

Nature’s Bakery Apple Cinnamon Fig Bar

Nature's Bakery Apple Cinnamon Fig Bar

I was craving for a snack, so I dug into my box of vegan goodies and pulled out an apple cinnamon fig bar. I bought this fig bar as part of my vegan snack box. It tasted a lot like a fig newton, but healthier. I credit that to the whole wheat listed as the first ingredient.

Nature's Bakery Apple Cinnamon Fig Bar

There are two little cookies inside, and they hit the spot well. They weren’t overly sweet; the apple cinnamon flavor wasn’t overly strong either. I liked it and would get them again. They also have a lemon flavor that sounds really nice. 

Get some on AmazonNature's Bakery Fig Bar, Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon, 12 Twin Packs, 24 Ounce


Nature’s Bakery:

Mary’s Market Café & Bakery - Rockford, IL

There are not a lot of veg* options in Rockford, so we were happy to find this one on happycow during our vegan roadtrip. the reviews on the other locations set my expectations very low.

Hola Arepa–Minneapolis, MN

Hola Arepa

I first had arepas a few years ago at a friend’s house. I was immediately hooked on their delicious masa goodness. They are crispy and soft at the same time. On our recent trip to Mexico we had them again. I lamented that we didn’t have a restaurant serving them in Minneapolis. Laura said we did: Hola Arepa.

Native Foods–River Forest, IL

Just to the west of Chicago is River Forest and home to one of their Native Food locations. I have been to several around the country including Chicago, Portland, and California. I have loved nearly everything I have eaten at a Native Foods, so I was happy to introduce Laura to the chain as part of our Vegan Road Trip.

Twin Cities Veg Living: Issue 1


Last year, I was approached by Compassionate Action for Animals (CAA) to write for their new magazine: Twin Cities Veg Living. I am honored and excited to be a part of the inaugural issue published March, 2015. I look forward to working with them again in the future.



I wrote a one page article about veg friendly restaurants in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area called: “Twin Cities Tastiness: Veg-Friendly Restaurants”. I also had the pleasure of making all the photos used in the article. Look at page 8 to see which restaurants were covered.


The magazine also has a profile for two vegan businesses in the area, information about vegan nutrition, a free recipe, and details about some of CAAs activities. It’s a great first issue.

The magazine is available for free on the web or in print at local CAA events. You can download the first issue here. Check it out! 

Sol D’Licious–Kenosha, WI

We arrived at Sol D’licious in the afternoon after driving from Madison. It was our only reason for visiting Kenosha. We wanted to sample the food from a 100% vegan café to add to our Vegan Road Trip. I was looking forward to the vegan gyro.

Last Week in Tastiness

Chocolate Cake from Cheeze Factory

This last week in tastiness, I tried to eat a tad healthier than I did the previous week. I felt a bit piggy after the amazing amount of food we ate on our vegan road trip.  The photo above is the chocolate cake we had at Cheeze Factory (review pending). You can see a bit more at Vegan Road Trip Day 4. I like they made a heart out of cocoa powder for us.

Chocolaterian–Madison, WI
While walking to the Green Owl, we spotted the big brown and white sign of Chocolaterian. We were intrigued; we both love chocolate. We took a walk to investigate.

The Green Owl Cafe–Madison, WI

The Green Owl Café in Madison, WI is a 100% vegetarian restaurant with lots of great vegan selections. It was the third place on our vegan road trip. It was a beautiful day, so we opted to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine along with our delicious vegan food. Their slogan is “vegetarian cuisine for people who love food” awesome!

Mother Fool’s Coffee House – Madison, WI

Mother Fool’s Coffee House was an unexpected surprise. We had made other plans for the morning, and when they fell through we found ourselves searching for somewhere to go. I am really happy we found Mother Fool’s. Once I saw they had a 100% vegan bakery, I was hooked and wanted to go!

Pig Minds Brewing–Machesney Park, IL

The ultimate destination for our recent vegan road trip was Pig Minds Brewing. They are a 100% plant-based (vegan) brewery and taproom. All the food and all the beer is vegan. Awesome! We were really excited.

Vegan Road Trip: Final Day

x500-48We woke up earlier than we would have liked to start our last day of the vegan road trip. We have had a lot of fun along the way with still more planned for the trip home. All good journeys need to start with a good meal, and our breakfast didn’t disappoint.

Vegan Road Trip: Day 3

The genesis of this road trip was a vegan brewery and taproom we found on HappyCow while looking for a destination last week. We had high expectations for a 100% vegan brewery and taproom and we were not disappointed.

Vegan Road Trip: Day 2

Yesterday was full of tasty delicious food, beautiful views of water, and did I mention tasty food? The photo above is us near Lake Michigan in Kenosha. It was almost 65F and so sunny. The wind off the lake was a bit brisk!

Vegan Road Trip: The Raw Deal–Menomonie, WI

We narrowly escaped the twin cities during rush hour traffic to head East into Wisconsin. About an hour east is Menomonie, WI. About a mile south of I94 is Raw Deal. They have raw organic vegan food available. They offer smoothies, desserts, entrees, beer, wine, juices, and coffee.

Broccoli with Nutty Sauce


I really love the sauce for this recipe! The complex flavor is fantastic. My friends really love this dish. It is almost as popular as my groundnut stew. I enjoy the combo of ginger and peanuts. It’s quick and easy to make.

Last Week In Tastiness


After not cooking much last week, I was on a mission to make more food at home. Looking through this week’s images I would says that is a success. The food is overall much healthier than last week as well.

Last Week in Tastiness


From the photos this last week, it doesn’t look like I did very much cooking. I did make a few meals, and I guess I didn’t take any photos of them. The photo above is a breakfast I had; raw carrot cake, candied ginger, coconut, raspberry cupcake, coconut cupcake, and a chocolate coconut cupcake. They were all quite good.

Last Week In Tastiness


This last week was another great week in food. I made most of the food, didn’t go out much. To start the week off I made some blueberry waffles and Laura peeled some clementines. The combo was very nice.